Update as for January 24, 2020: Bankwest has announced that earn rates for this account will be reduced starting 1st April 2020. We will update this guide accordingly as soon as the new earn rates take effect.
Bankwest’s Qantas Transaction account is one of the only points-earning bank accounts – with the ability to earn Qantas Points from debit card transactions and from holding a balance in the account.
Digging into the details of the Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
Bankwest’s Qantas Transaction Account should definitely be of interest for people who like their points. Let’s take a look in more detail:
Features of the Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
|Card/Account||Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account|
|Card type||Debit Mastercard
Platinum Debit Mastercard
|Loyalty Program||Qantas Frequent Flyer|
|Points earned on eligible transactions||12 points per $100 in your account each month
5 points per eligible Debit Mastercard purchase
5 points on overseas ATM cash withdrawals
|Monthly maintenance fee||$6 (waived when you deposit at least $2,000 per month)|
|Overseas ATM access fee||$0 charged by Bankwest (overseas bank may charge a fee)|
|Foreign transaction fee||2.95% of the transaction amount|
- 5 Qantas Points per eligible purchase (not per dollar as with many credit cards)
- 12 Qantas Points per $100 in your account each month.
- 5 Qantas Points for overseas ATM withdrawals (but probably with an ATM owner fee, and also a 2.95% currency conversion fee, so you might be better off using a card with no overseas ATM fees when you’re away)
- Unlimited transactions and no monthly account fee if you deposit at least $2000/month ($6/month fee otherwise)
- Free and unlimited use of Bankwest and Commonwealth Bank ATMs in Australia
The two major opportunities for earning Qantas Points are through purchases and on the money you hold in your account.
How to use the Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account to earn Qantas Points on purchases
‘Eligible’ purchases is the key word, and the product disclosure statement has a big list of exclusions—but, in short, points are earned on purchases made through the Debit Mastercard system without cash-out.
5 points per eligible purchase is for the most part not a great earn rate compared to a credit card earning based on the number of dollars you spend, however, there are opportunities for optimising points earned on small purchases.
If, for example, you have another Qantas Points-earning card which earns 1 point per dollar, then for any purchase below $5, you would earn more points by using the Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account.
Based on an analysis of small value purchases in the past year in my personal budgeting system and a few other thoughts, here are some suggestions of the types of purchases that may be advantageous:
- Takeaway coffees
- Short-term car parking
- Small eBay or other online purchases
- Quick runs to the local store for a bottle of milk or a missing ingredient
- Small purchases where the retailer has a minimum or a surcharge for credit card payments but allows EFTPOS (for example a couple of small fruit & veg stores in my area)
Earning Qantas Points on your account balance with the Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
The 12 points per month per $100 (actually calculated as 0.4 points per day per $100) in the account is earned in lieu of a competitive interest rate on the account (you earn interest at 0.01% p.a.).
However there is no limit on the balance on which you can earn points (some other transaction accounts add balance caps for interest earning), and many other transaction accounts do not earn interest at all (instead requiring you to transfer money between your transaction account and an online savings account).
Depending on how you value Qantas Points, and the rate at which you are taxed on interest earned, this may work out to be a better deal (along with more convenient because you don’t have to shuffle money between accounts manually).
Let’s take an example of someone holding a $10,000 balance in their Qantas Transaction Account for a month vs someone earning interest in a hypothetical alternative account at 2% annual interest rate.
In this case, they would earn 12 points per $100 of balance = 1,200 Qantas Points. Alternatively, in our hypothetical savings, they could have earned 1/12 of the 2% annual interest rate, or $16.67 in interest. It all depends on how much you value your points as to whether that makes sense for you.
It’s also worth noting that you’d have to pay your equivalent income tax rate for the current financial year on the interest earned in our example interest-earning account, which would reduce the net amount earned further.
Another point to make—remember that if you have a mortgage with an offset account, you could be better off parking money in there instead of earning interest in a cash account. But we are getting too deep into personal financial strategy here, so the key takeaway: this one is definitely worth doing your own maths on.
Summing up: Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account
The Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account is not an account you would use for all your day-to-day spending on a card if you’re interested in maximising the points you can earn, however, it could be a useful way to earn points for low-value purchases.
You’ll need to remember to transfer in at least $2,000/month to avoid the $6 monthly account fee but, given that, the rewards—in terms of points, not interest—are well worth considering.
Bankwest would also like us to include the following disclaimer:
- You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee usually applies, however complimentary membership is available from Bankwest if you join at qantas.com/joinffbankwest. Membership and the earning and redemption of points are subject to the terms and conditions of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program which can be found at qantas.com/terms. Qantas Points are earned on eligible purchases only and in accordance with and subject to the “Bankwest Qantas Rewards Program Terms and Conditions (PDF)“.
- Qantas Points can be used to redeem Classic Flight Rewards and Points Plus Pay-Flights seats. These are available on selected flights, availability is limited and booking conditions apply. Additional taxes, fees and carrier charges may apply. For more information visit qantas.com for details.*
- Bankwest is a division of the product issuer, Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124 AFSL/Australian credit licence 234945. You should consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and whether the product is right for you. A PDS is available from your local Bankwest store, from bankwest.com.au, or by calling 13 17 19. Debit Mastercard is only available to Australian Citizens, Permanent or Temporary Residents over 16 years of age with an Australian residential address.
- Points paid per month will vary depending on your account balance and the number of days in the month. You will earn 0.4 Qantas Points each day for every $100 of your account balance.
- The overseas bank may charge a fee for using their ATM. Other fees and charges, including foreign transaction fees, may apply.
- People 18 years and over
- One Bankwest Qantas Transaction Account per customer
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